#thread about unfair practices in textile selling, one at the lower end, by vendors selling on mass online e-commerce platforms like @myntra @amazon @Flipkart and @snapdeal and the other high end by small entrepreneurs who sell via FB/insta etc. cc @smritiirani @TexMinIndia
This is important because both indulge in unfair practices, which ultimately hurts the genuine weavers, who invest time, efforts and craftsmanship in their work. Let me start with the low end guys. They sell cheap synthetic powerlooms at very cheap prices on online platforms.
The pricing would be fine if these vendors declared that they were selling synthetic powerlooms. But they blatantly mislead consumers by calling their products ‘pure silk’ and use names of traditional weaves like Banarasi and Kanchipuram, when these are cheap knock-offs.
These vendors will use deceptive terms like ‘woven saree’ ‘made by hand product’, ‘dyed by hand’ etc, which are not outright lies. After all, every saree is ‘woven’, whether on a handlooms or powerloom. Every product is ‘made by hand’ because it involves some human effort.
There is no mention of silk mark or the handloom mark, which are the labels of authenticity. Most consumers who buy from these sites go by the low price offered and never ask for such labels. @silkmarkindia should also know that spurious silk marks are very commonly available.
This cheap pricing of powerloom sarees while selling them as hand-woven ones hurts genuine weavers because when they sell their products at fair prices, consumers ask them ‘why such a high price? Amazon sells Kanchipuram sarees for 900 rupees’. I have seen that happen in expos.
Now we go to the fraud perpetuated by niche online ‘handloom’ saree sellers who sell on FB or Insta. Many of these sellers DO sell genuine hand-woven products, but at 3 times the price! They will sell using the sob-story of the ‘poor weaver’s’ plight as an emotional hook.
There will be heart-rending stories about the ‘last weaver surviving in a village selling the last few pieces of an old weave’. And a saree that a weaver sells at 12000 rupees factoring in his/her
profit will be sold at 30000 INR using terms like ‘rare, one-of-a-kind and revival’
Another big scam is ‘revival of tribal weaves’. Many self-certified textile ‘revivalists’ on SM who sell cheap copies of original tribal designs that they get woven from some other state. But neither the tribe uses them nor are they connected with the culture of the tribe.
Both these kind of sellers exploit the consumer in different ways, the lower end guys make the consumers shell out good money for worthless products by telling them they are getting a bargain, while high end sellers exploit the consumers by selling at hugely inflated prices.
So what can be done about this? For one thing, the consumer has to do her own research on how to identify authentic weaves, check the average prices, and be well informed. They also need to resist the emotional hooks and the false need that is created by unscrupulous vendors.
The other thing is for online platforms to work on their transparency parameters and have checks and balances in place so that they weed out unscrupulous vendors. Please be aware of what you are paying for.

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More from @ShefVaidya

19 Oct
Making a #thread of my series on the handlooms weaves of India - #9Days9Weaves series on @zindagiwidricha with @richaanirudh, so people can access it easily. First three episodes are about #jamdani #kanchipuram and #gadwal
Episode 1 - #jamdani. Do watch as I talk about the history, specialty, price points and places to source an authentic #jamdani of Bengal. Do watch and share widely. #9Days9Weaves

Episode 2 of #9Days9Weaves. Know all about the beauty of the regal #kanchipuram saree. 9 days 9 weaves - Kanchipuram/Kanjivaram via @YouTube
Read 4 tweets
23 Aug
#Thread. I took time to think this through. As a contracted writer with @BloomsburyIndia, I am aghast at the crass, unethical way in which @BloomsburyIndia has behaved with @advmonikaarora , backing out from publishing her book on #AntiHinduDelhiRiots a week before the launch.
The publisher had a contract with @advmonikaarora. @BloomsburyIndia went through all stages of publishing, going through manuscript, editing it, suggesting changes and finally, printing it. The book is in print and now they are backing out bowing to pressure from literary mafia.
It is noteworthy that @BloomsburyIndia is still going ahead with a book on the #CAA protests that reflects the point of view of the Izlamists, citing ‘freedom of speech’. @BloomsburyIndia has capitulated to a literary mafia consisting of Izlamists and Communists. This is shameful
Read 9 tweets
17 Aug
#Thread Hindus are caught in a catch 22 situation. If one Naveen posts something that is viewed as derogatory against someone’s profit, if one Kamlesh Tiwari dares to call one religion’s icon gay, entire cities erupt in violence, and everyone knows who will pay the price.
But no self-certified champion of #FoE will support a Naveen or Kamlesh Tewari. Instead, they will perpetuate Goebbelsian propaganda of a some fake human chain by Muzlims to protect a temple, without ONCE asking, who was attacking the temple to begin with.
A Naveen or a Kamlesh Tewari either ends up in jail or they are eventually found and kiIIed, all in the name of ‘peace’ and an ‘all merciful’ God! Public property is destroyed, entire cities burn, all in the name of ‘being peaceful’. And no one calls this ‘intolerance!’
Read 8 tweets
8 Aug
#Thread. The Curious Case of Laila Tyabji’s Epic Meltdown. On the eve of #NationalHandloomDay, founder of Dastkar and textiles Prima Donna Laila Tyabji chose to rant about this govt’s decision of scrapping of the Handloom Board. SS attached. @TexMinIndia @smritiirani
In her rant, Ms. Tyabji alleged that d decision of scrapping the Handloom Board was taken by @TexMinIndia in the ‘quiet of Covid Times’, implying d govt had something to hide. She said how she ‘would have loved to be on that board’ and how it was a great institution. But was it?
Between 2005 - 2016, Handloom Board met precisely SIX times - in ELEVEN years. Meetings were held in five star hotels for half a day. There is no evidence of any policy decisions nor any recommendations made. In other words, the board was another @INCIndia era white elephant.
Read 11 tweets
7 Aug
A #Thread for #NationalHandloomDay #Vocal4Handmade 5 reasons why you should buy, wear and use handwoven textiles. 1)Handloom sector employs second largest number of people in India after agriculture. Each time you buy a hand-woven textile, you are supporting rural economy.
2) Handloom weaving is the original #MakeInIndia craft. People in Sindhu Saraswati civilisation knew how to cultivate cotton, how to extract yarn, how to dye it using natural colours and how to weave cloth, as seen from the shawl with the trefoil pattern of the priest king.
3) Rigveda has several hymns that refer to the process of weaving. In this Richa, weaving is used as a metaphor to pursue the lit path of knowledge. तन्तुं तन्वन रजसो भानुमिन्विहि, ज्योतिष्मतः पथो रक्ष धिया कृतान |

अनुल्बणं वयत जोगुवामपो, मनुर्भव जनया दैव्यं जनम् || ऋ १०|५३|६
Read 5 tweets
22 Jul
#Thread Going to ask @PetaIndia 5 specific questions. I know they follow my TL even though they are pretending I do not exist, after trolling me 24/7 for 2 days. My questions will prove that not only is @PetaIndia #AntiHinduPeta, it is also a fraud organisation #PetaIndiaExposed
Question 1 - @PetaIndia You made a ridiculous connection in your hoardings between #RakshaBandhan and cow leather trade, but why have you NOT mentioned #EidAlAdha anywhere in your hoardings featuring goats? Scared much? #AntiHinduPeta
Question 2 - You LIED that @IngridNewkirk WAS your founder and she is NOT the main functionary at @PetaIndia, if that is true, why do your campaigns feature her, and why does she sign your official FCRA returns? #AntiHinduPeta #PetaIndiaExposed
Read 6 tweets

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